A new survey of UK employers conducted by Pearson, reveals that over three-quarters (76%) feel that broader courses that provide a grounding in industry prepare learners better than role-specific training given the changing job market.
Almost 9 in 10 (89%) employers surveyed agree that when thinking about their business, their employees will have to continue learning new things throughout their jobs to keep up-to-date with new skills or retrain in a new area. This suggests employers are anticipating an ever-changing jobs market within industries that will continue to evolve.
Out of a thousand employers across the UK nearly half (49%) rank enthusiasm for the role and a willingness to learn as a key driver when hiring, followed by a quarter (24%) listing knowledge, practical, technical skills, and 6% favouring academic performance (6%).
The research coincides with the Government’s publication of statistics on Further Education and Skills which today showed that adult government-funded further education and skills participation and adult education and training participation decreased by 15% and 10.5% respectively, from 2019/2020.
Cindy Rampersaud, Senior Vice President of BTECs and Apprenticeships at Pearson UK, said:
“This research reveals maintaining flexibility and a broad range of options to support access to learning and reskilling is critical to skills reform. We know that lifelong learning is more important than ever, as new industries emerge, and existing businesses evolve in response to our changing world, including a continued shift towards a digital economy. We have a unique opportunity to develop a skills programme that delivers for everyone, and for vocational course providers to work with employers to meet this demand. Flexibility, underpinned by a modular approach, will be key to supporting both access and progression for many.”
Brenda Yearsley, UK Head of Education and Social Innovations Team at Siemens Plc said:
“The changing job market means flexibility and a willingness to learn are more crucial than ever. BTEC courses are one of the best ways to achieve a major skills reform programme as employers work with course providers to ensure candidates learn much needed, industry-ready skills.”
Lydia Amarquaye, Professional Development and Education Policy Advisor at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers said:
“Engineering is one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK, and with many routes into the industry, it’s important that we continue to look at new ways to foster talent and keep up with increasing demand. Areas such as mechanical engineering have always relied on a strong intake of vocational learners, who bring a wealth of practical workplace skills to the industry, and It’s important that we receive continued Government support in this area.”
The results also found 86% of BTEC students are willing to continue learning throughout their career compared to only 51% of students who are not studying vocational courses suggesting that BTEC students may be more likely to fill the skills gap in the UK.
For more information on the research, please contact: Pearson.FH@fhflondon.co.uk at FleishmanHillard
Notes to editors:
*Statistic combines ‘very important’ and ‘somewhat important
’**Statistic combines ‘strongly agree’ and ‘somewhat agree’
Censuswide surveyed the following samples between 27 November 2020 & 1 December 2020:
- 1,006 employers from across the UK
- 1,000 14-18-year-olds that are currently doing a BTEC, A Levels and BTEC, an apprenticeship or vocational course